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PRESS RELEASE: DEMANDING SAFETY AND HEALING FOR BLACK SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE

February 26, 2019

 

New Report Examines Black Women, Girls, Trans and Gender Nonconforming People’s Experiences of Sexual Assault and Uplifts Recommendations for Prevention and Transformative Healing

 

 

Berkeley, CA (February 26, 2019)  - Today, the National Black Women’s Justice Institute announces the release of the new report, Expanding Our Frame, Deepening our Demands for Safety and Healing for Black Survivors of Sexual Violence.

 

Read the report here: Expanding Our Frame, Deepening our Demands for Safety and Healing for Black Survivors of Sexual Violence.

 

The report calls for an expansion of messaging and responses to more explicitly center the experiences of Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people. It also calls on contemporary anti-violence movements to expand the current focus on sexual violence by politicians, in the entertainment industry and in the workplace to include settings in which Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people’s experiences of sexual violence remain largely shrouded in silence, including schools, foster care systems, police interactions, and prisons.

 

“Despite the specific origins of “me too.” in Black women and girls’ organizing, our narratives and experiences remain largely at the margins of the current conversations around sexual violence,” says author Andrea Ritchie. “As a result, many of the ways Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people experience sexual violence are left out of the solutions we seek and of resources for prevention, protection and healing, both by mainstream movements and beyond.”

 

Highlights from the report include:

 

•    Black women, girls, trans and gender nonconforming people and Black people with disabilities experience disproportionately high rates of sexual violence;

 

•    Many systems advanced as sources of “safety” from sexual violence—including law enforcement, educational settings, social services, and health care providers— are often sites of sexual violence against Black women and girls;  and

 

•    Police, jails, prisons, immigration detention, probation and parole may also be sources and sites of increased vulnerability to sexual violence.

 

The document concludes by calling for new structures of prevention and accountability, offering recommendations and lifting up organizations advancing approaches for prevention, detection, and accountability that address and redress Black women’s, girl’s, trans and gender nonconforming people’s experiences with sexual violence, and promote healing for all survivors.

 

Solutions include:

 

•    Confronting persistent perceptions of Black women, girls, trans and gender nonbinary people as inviolable, unbelievable and unworthy victims and our collective failure to believe them when they come forward;

 

•    Ensuring effective mechanisms for preventing, detecting, and holding officers accountable for sexual violence; and

 

•    Removing police officers from schools and create mechanisms for students, parents, teachers, and counselors to co-create transformative approaches to school safety.

 

“Centering Black women, girls, trans and gender nonbinary people as we deepen our demands for healing will forge a path toward inclusive, global and sustainable spaces to combat sexual violence,” says NBWJI president, Dr. Monique W. Morris. “This is how we help ensure that nobody is left behind.”

 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Nicole E. Kenney at (215) 833 – 0678 or communications@nbwji.org.  

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The National Black Women’s Justice Institute (NBWJI) is a leading research, training, and technical assistance provider to public agencies, institutions, and foundations on countering the criminalization of Black women and girls. NBWJI works to reduce racial and gender disparities across the justice continuum affecting Black women, girls, and their families, by conducting research, providing technical assistance, engaging in public education, promoting civic engagement and advocating for informed and effective policies. We conduct research, evaluation, and technical assistance from an intersectional lens that centers race/ethnicity and gender as well as gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation/identity for participants, staff, and partners organizations/individuals.

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